"Interior Report Shows Flawed Utah Lease Sale"

"The Interior Department released a report today outlining flaws in the process used last year to auction oil and gas leases in Utah and calling for a comprehensive regional air-quality strategy and a review to decide whether to reinstate the parcels.

In January, a federal district court issued a temporary injunction against the sale of 77 Utah parcels that had been included in a December auction after environmental groups challenged them in court. In February, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar directed that the leases be withdrawn and bonus payments be returned to the bidders and ordered the review of the parcels.

The resulting [document] says the process leading to the auction deviated "in important respects" from the normal procedure."

Noelle Straub reports for Greenwire June 11, 2009.

Friday, June 12, 2009